The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted the Energy Infrastructure and Economy Summit on January 31, 2019. This Summit was the first for Otsego County and was attended by various stakeholders within the energy sector, and active participation of all stakeholders was encouraged throughout the day. Some of the key stakeholders who attended the summit included 200 representatives from business and industry, municipalities, State Government Departments, environmentalists, nongovernmental organizations, public entities and members of the public. The topics which were presented throughout the day have been gathered as a resource for our members and the community use and are available by clicking the link below and are available on the website at otsegocc.com. linked from the home page just above the upcoming calendar items using the following image:
Key Actions noted by businesses in attendance as next steps:
1. Businesses expressed the need for energy which support all forms of business both existing and potentially attracted to our area, including an energy mix of both natural gas and renewables.
2. Businesses expressed a desire for access to Energy audits to then learn cost-effective energy efficiency options, therefore creating less reliance on fossil fuels, and to free up supply (in our case natural gas) for those in need. The chamber expressed being fully committed to assisting with this task.
3. Businesses would like to learn how they can access financing and rebates for energy efficiency programs, utilizing the chamber as the connection to assist in this endeavor.
4. Businesses would like to learn of efforts to improve public awareness and adoption of energy efficiency measures with the desire to see the economy prosper as part of this effort.
5. Businesses expressed having a balanced portfolio of baseload energy, demand, and peak demand reductions to obtain both reliability and long-term resource benefits of energy efficiency for both electricity and natural gas.
6. Businesses expressed that a combination of both natural gas and renewables is key to energy plan now and into the future, with a desire for reducing reliance on natural gas as renewable energy forms develop and become more readily available.
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee is comprised of Chamber members who are business leaders representing a diverse group of energy-related resources and perspectives. One of the main goals of this committee is to work to enhance public awareness of the importance of the energy industry to the local economy and quality of life. This committee provides a forum for identifying and discussing common issues affecting the production and consumption of energy. The Otsego County Chamber promotes the development and availability of many sources of energy and conservation measures in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective way as well as continued access to dependable, existing resources. The energy industry is critical to our economy, and we need policies that promote the continued production and expansion of current and new energy resources in addition to the infrastructure to meet our increasing energy demands. In conclusion the Otsego County Chamber supports development and implementation of any and all renewable energy and will support them in any way we can to help connect our members to the development and financing of renewable projects. We do see the need for increased access for natural gas supply in the short term to meet the existing demands of businesses until renewable energy can provide the energy needs not only of the existing business community but also for the companies who would consider locating here to Otsego County.